Monday, June 13, 2011

how we ended up at the village church (& texas)

I sort of already told this story here but I wanted to share the more complete version:

Yes, it may be unusual for 2 people with a brand new baby to move to a place where they have no family, almost no friends, have never themselves lived before and know nothing about. It's unusual for 2 people to choose for one of them to go to school and work in such a place.

It's also unusual for people to trust God. And I mean trust Him. To actually step out in blind faith, not seeing anything ahead, trusting that He will (almost) literally catch them when they do (note: this can also be stupid and we are very aware of that).

You may have read last year that my husband and I felt very strongly that the Lord was leading him out of his 8 year career with the Marine Corps. You may have also read that we had no idea where He wanted us to go or what He wanted us to do.

And yet, we still followed His call.

(Please don't read this as me saying we are high and mighty because we followed God in blind faith. Heck, we really could just be that stupid.)

Ben checked out of the Marines. We ended the lease on our home of 4 years, we packed all of our earthly belongings (a lot more crap than I thought!) and we drove half way across the country to Texas. To a place we knew nothing about.

But even though we knew nothing and no one, we trusted God. He knew; He knows. We know that even if we're in this place by accident (which I doubt is the case), He will still be faithful to not let us fall too hard. And if we do fall, He'll pick us up, wipe us off, and kiss our boo-boos.

So back to the how part. You're probably wondering, "how in the world did you pick Texas?" I'm so glad you asked. Well, it all started back in November of 2009 with this post.

You should watch it. You won't regret it. It's a sermon that Matt Chandler preachd to the students at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I had never heard of the man before but for some reason figured I should just take a peak. And boy am I glad I did?!! I was blown away. I was convicted. I was hooked.

From that point on my husband and I started podcasting pastor Matt in our home. I joked on probably a weekly basis that I wanted to move to Texas just so we could go to The Village. (I never thought it would actually happen).

Now fast-forward to the summer of 2010. I was on a house boat out on Lake Shasta in northern California with a high school church camp (yes their camp is one week on house boats, wakeboarding and tubing. yes it's awesome). My husband called me from Afghanistan one night and we started talking about how crazy we are for thinking about leaving the military. What in the world would we go do? He mentioned to me that a friend of his' dad owns a company in Texas and would be willing to offer him a job.

Random much?? Texas? Why would we go to Texas?

I then began to research online the degree that my husband had decided he would like to pursue. Guess where all the best colleges are that offer his degree. Texas? You're kidding right God?

So we now have a degree program for Ben, a (more than) potential job offer and an incredible church.

Texas it was! Of course we prayed about it. And the Lord kept giving me this verse: Genesis 12:1 "The Lord said to Abram, 'Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you...' (emphasis added).

So here's what it all comes down to for us: we heard from God loud and clear that it was time to move on from the military. That was a no brainer. And while we weren't completely sure (and still aren't) about where God wanted us to go or what He wanted us to do, we know we're in good company. I mean, He told Abram to just go and He'd lead the way as he went. So we're pretty confident that if God could do it for Abram than we can trust Him to do it for us as well.

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So there you have it. The not so exciting story of how we ended up at The Village Church and Texas.


  1. Whoa! Awesome! Way to follow your heart's leading (aka God). It's always hard to take risks like that but sounds like you guys are in a great place now. That's a pretty adorable picture, too.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story Jessi. I remember listening to this when you posted it in '09 and it was PERFECT timing to hear it again!

    God bless you and your family for your obedience. I can't wait to see what is next.

    Love and miss you,


  3. guess what?! i go to the village church!!!!!!!!!!!! xoxoxo

  4. Very well said! I remember how exciting/scary it was for Barrett and I to come to Texas as well, but it was pretty clear to me that that's what we were supposed to do. God brought Barrett and I together, and it turns out that we had both separately felt the pull to go to Austin, before we even met. It's still an adventure, finding out what's in store. I pray and trust that God will lead the way for us all. Yay for Texas adventures!

  5. What a great story. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. It is amazing the way that God opens doors.

    Your baby is SO CUTE!

  6. oooh. i'm glad i found this post so i could get filled in on the whole story behind your texas move. i love, love, love matty c (that's what i personally call him, although i'm sure no one else does...)! i hope you learn to love texas as much as i did/do. next time i come visit my DFW friends we should meet up for coffee! xoxo!

  7. how neat! what a great testimony you guys are living of following the Lord wherever He leads. I just love Matt Chandler, have heard great things about the Village!